Incoming Energy of 2021

At this time of year, I always like to pause and have a look at where we are on the astrological wheel, to see what broader influences might be there pulling at the stings of life.  These are ancient systems developed from looking at the star, planets and the energy of numbers.  I feel they are influences rather than prophetic forecasters.

White Ox

This year on 12th February we are leaving behind the year of the Rat, which is the start of the 12 year astrological cycle and are moving onto the second in the astrological calendar, the Ox.  It is the Silver Ox for this year.  Ox is a gentle yet powerful energy and in Taoist traditions is also associated with the beautiful feminine deity of Quan Yin.  Ox speaks of hard and steady work, there is a sense of; if unwilling to work?  Then don’t eat.  Which comes with Ox.  Ox can be stubborn and opinionated and so needs to temper this with tolerance and letting go to accept change.   Ox energy suggests a gentle and steady strong energy to the year, one where routine and steady work is supported and can bring the most benefits rather than more flash or faster energetic approaches.

The system of 9 Star Ki, brings this year to the year of Six, or Big Metal in Chinese 5 elements.  Metal is all about governance, management, leadership and insight.  In it’s brighter state it is about truth, honesty and integrity.  In it’s more dogmatic state it is about control and rules.  Looking at this in combination with the Silver Ox, it does suggest a year of what could easily become a lot of dogma, toil and rule following.  To lighten this, it is about tuning into the bright truth, integrity and with true insight staying centred and not allowing external influences to do anything other than inform and brighten one’s own knowledge.  There is an invitation to tap into the bright silver energy of the year, to reflect, and gain true insight, while maintaining as balanced a life as possible.

In Numerology 2021 is the year of 5.  This is a dynamic and creative number bringing an energy that is all about change and opportunity.  Perhaps looking at this in light of the current situation (pandemic) and in combination with the Chinese oracle systems it would suggest that it’s about embracing change and acceptance providing it is following a path of truth and integrity.  Opportunities are likely to be of a practical and very grounded nature and sometimes might seem small and insignificant but actually through due diligence and work can reap sound results which will support one in the future.

One phrase comes to mind to sum up.  “Steady as she goes!”

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An Empty Harvest? Take another look.

As I write we are experiencing a heat wave and the nearby fields have long since gone to brown grass and the long grasses have been cut and made into hay bales.   This time of year is of course associated with harvest, throughout August and September was and is all about gathering in the year’s harvests.

On a more ethereal level of course this can equally be applied to our year’s activities, whatever they may be.  Personally, for various reasons, some very obvious, I find my basket looking a little bare this year.  The silent and still, spring and summer is finally showing up in my harvest for the year.

wild flowwers of Fallow Land

This makes me reflect on the fallow land.  The land that is left fallow for year, where it has faithfully every year been used and produced a harvest and finally is set to rest for a season.  Often producing the most wonderful wild flowers and variety of plants that any peace of land could possible be expected to produce.

Of course the more disappointing and in many ways devastating is the land which was planted up and seeded and then failed.  The full on crop failure. Traditional practice is to burn off the stubble of the failed crop to bring new nutrients back into the soil. 

Personally at the moment I am not sure whether my harvest is that of the fallow land or the crop failure. Gladly I can find a few wild flowers that have flourished during this time of stillness and being fallow. The greatest fear is that it will not recover and come back from this. One thing is for sure is that each year produces a very different yield, they are always determined by the quality of the soil and the weather of the year.

You can’t always control the environment in which you find yourself but you can work on the soil in which you plant.  So if you too are looking at a strangely assorted harvest basket this year perhaps it’s time to nurture your soil.

Interaction of Life. Its innate randomness and ability to create change inside and out.

It is said that every person has an effect on someone else or on a course of events.  They may not even know it.  Sometimes it is these that are not deliberate often have the most wide reaching effects, where as those which are deliberate, calculated and pushed, sometimes don’t go as far as the person actually wants them to.  Just look at any campaign, deliberate campaign, how far do they really get?

The biggest changes and influences often come completely left field.  Facebook, Twitter, radio, telephone, mobile phones, printing press, cars, Beatrix Potter’s children’s books, tea, potatoes, tobacco.  The list is endless.

Summer GoddessMost people meet their partners in the most unlikely set of circumstances.  The chances of meeting the person you marry or settle down with, often requires quite a sequence of events.  Moving town, education, job or a series of links between friends and colleagues and then just the right timing to meet in a way, on a day that somehow ignites that passion or interaction that does not just fizzle into nothing but blooms at least for good while into a relationship.  Also, this is the foundation for children.  So in many ways, it adds to the impossibility of even being here.  For example for me to be here on this earth and my parents to meet and have me it took a world war!  Or rather the fact they ended up in the same country was due to the after effects of a world war.  So in that sense, never mind the probability that goes on in the conception process, it really is quite amazing I’m alive at all.  I am of course not alone in this, and no-doubt there are millions of people with even more complex stories and thereby remote and wonderful possibility of being here in the first place.

So one can’t help coming to the question, why am I here?  As in why is any one particular individual here?  Just a fluke.  A chance that mathematically shows someone has to end up here because of how the ecological, evolution process has panned out.  Is it simply a miracle?  Or is it all of these things and more?  Personally I tend to go with the last statement, it is all of the science, the evidence, the mathematical evolution process and a miracle!

Science offers us a chance to intellectually gain understanding of our surrounds and make amazing discoveries and inventions which take us to another intellectual level and different ways of living and existing.  Providing us with more choice or even simply getting us to realise we do have choice.  Often though science data seems to dull the wonder and mystery of life.  Suddenly the fact we can intellectually rationalise something, count it, measure it or predict it, it becomes every day, ordinary.   Often it even becomes something we can take for granted.  Why is this?  Then when a discovery is made it is suddenly owned by science.  It is science that owns it, found it, discovered it.  When actually what it did was measure it or alchemise it.

Surely the original wonder and mystery is still there and should not be lost in our rationalising of it.  It does not matter how well we can measure the distance from the sun to the earth or the orbit of the planets, it is simply awesome that the earth is this one planet in the middle of “bogging” nowhere, circling this enormous star called the sun, balanced by the orbit of the moon to produce a planet that has just the right proportions, size, speed, minerals to have an atmosphere, to support water which is the foundation of life.  No matter how rationally you approach this, how much scientific data one can gather, it is truly amazing!!!

sun and moonWe are off searching for another Earth or life supporting planet.  Why?  I guess we always like to have a spare and we don’t like to feel we are the only ones or alone.  It is part of the human condition.  We still have not found one.  I do sometimes wonder, that will happen if we ever do.  Will it becomes on a planetary scale what we have here on earth.  That where we are is not good enough.  Suddenly we will have to go to Planet Egon 9 Star Galaxy Zogon, to find ourselves?  At the moment, it’s contained to Australia, the Andes, climbing Mount Everest, Himalayas or Thailand.   Ok there is something about moving somewhere which is unfamiliar, new, which tests our ability to survive and adapt.  It also provides the opportunity to learn something different which can broaden our perspective on life and ourselves.  It is exciting, challenging and it helps us to grow as people.  However, there does come a point for all of us in our lives where we have to weigh up whether we are really chasing the “Dragon of our Dreams” or just chasing our tales and actually by stopping and going inward we would actually learn much more about how who we are.

Sometimes it’s actually tougher to stay put and learn from the people and the places we are already residing with.  There are issues, long standing annoyances, clashes, incompatibility.  How much better it would be without her next door or our old ex-partner hanging around? Don’t get me wrong there are definitely times when we have to say good bye to someone or draw a line under a dysfunctional relationship.  However, simply drifting onto the next or running off to Thailand to find a guru, might be part of the solution, but will certainly not be all of it.  Everything that goes “wrong” in life in some part is down to our own actions and reactions.  Taking responsibility for them and relearning new and better ways of being definitely aid to avoid going through the same patterns again and again.  A Guru in the Himalaya’s together with the thin altitude and lighter diet may well help us get a different and better perspective on all this.  However, the test really comes when you return to the ordinary every day life you’d been previously living.  Just like criminals who apparently often feel the need to  eventually to return home, most of us find ourselves at some point having to return to “make a living” or “settle down”.   That is when the real test comes of how much baggage we have shed, how much knowledge we have learnt and how we have really matured.

The Mutterings of a Mad Cow who ate no Beef

lovers0001In September 2006 I went to a 3 day meditation in Glastonbury  all about Gaia.  It was a call from the heart to reconnect at a deeper level.  What I didn’t realise at the time was that it was going to be the first time I was going journey Shamanically with the rhythm of the drum.  I also didn’t realise what awakening of the spirit it would evoke within me.  It opened me to the greatest softness and profound beauty of creation and within a few days having to face the fact that I was extremely stressed and my body was not ready or trained to receive such floods of wisdom and insight.  It opened up an illness within that needed healing.  This was the start of my Shamanic Journey.  Over the next thirteen years it was to be a rich mixture of chaos, confusion, deep beauty and healing.  The story is not over but the last thirteen years are.  Last September, (2019), I came to a watershed moment where it was clear that my consulting practice needed to close it’s gates, at least for a while.  There were many things that needed addressing at home and internally.  Before the gate shut, 13 poetic writings came together, some from events and times during the 13 years and a number which just poured out over a couple of days.

Why is 13 so important?  The biggest healing that was needed and brought through my shamanic trail was my connection to the Earth, Mother Nature and to my own femininity.  13 is a sacred number of the Divine Feminine and of course we have 13 moons every year.  So of course a number of these poetic writing are heavily influenced by her presence and are in respect of her.

So here is this small offering, enjoy.

Available here free as an E-book.  As every effort deserves payment, please make a donation to one or more of the four charities linked below.

If you would like a signed hard copy please make paypal payment of £10 to pathwayfinder@mail.com. (including postage and packaging)

Most of all enjoy and  please read with a good pinch of gentle humour.

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Into the Unknown

New year, new challenges ahead and the one consistency being change, with the chances of major adventures, one day in the depths of winter I found myself pondering the unknown.

Stepping into KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAthe unknown, when did you last do this?  Why did you do it?  How did it feel?  Are you pleased that you took that step?

The unknown is often something that we instinctively fear or sometimes it’s exactly what we have been seeking or trying to escape into and simply find it exciting and like coming alive.

Our relationship with the unknown will very much depend on what we’ve been lead to believe about it in our childhood.  Either encouraged to be adventurous or more likely warned against it and to stay with what we know or at the very least prepare well for it.  Funny part is how do you prepare for the unknown?

Truth is for the most part in our lives, and certainly these days in this age of information, most of the time, even if something is unknown to us, it probably has already been done by someone else and there is at least whole bunch of information and someone else’s experience.

Of course what none of this helps with is how we, us as an individual, are going to cope with this step into the unknown.  It is our step, not the person whose exploits we’ve read about on the internet or in a recommended book.  So what do we take with us into the unknown…. Some information, some basic knowledge often received second or third hand and of course all our abilities, strategies for coping and assimilating whatever comes our way.

Oddly enough this can mean that even if we are stepping into something new, something unknown, the out-come is the same or the experience has similarities for us about something else that we experience before.  Our reactions either learned, habitual or carefully honed will come into play.  So how much and how fast does the unknown suddenly become the all too well known once again.  The same patterns playing out, the same issues rearing their head.

In many ways the unknown becomes the opportunity to do things differently, to be forced into a different set of behaviours or action patterns that so far have not been explored.  Funnily enough for most of the time in life all we are doing is one known for an apparent unknown, which actually have very similar qualities to what we already have known.  No wonder people find themselves doing more and more extraordinary things  to break out beyond the known or to break behaviour patterns in their lives.

If adventures into the unknown truly scare you, but you need to change patterns in your dreamscapelife, then look at what is driving those patterns and just like a sculpture, carefully and gentle chisel away at those driving forces so the unhelpful patterns can flow in a different way through your life.

If the unknown is totally appealing yet no matter what you do, you find that soon it becomes dull and dreary and just more of the apparent same, then start to look with new eyes on everything.  Start to look for the depths in yourself and others and in the tiny simply minute of each day, there will be magic already there for you, without making a huge leap and the unknown within the known will start to sing out and each day can be an adventure.

 

New Beginnings …. 2019….

Many found 2018 very challenging and as the year drew to an end there seemed to be a lot of voices adding to the chorus; “thank goodness that year is over”.  Personally and thankfully the year had been, while in places challenging, full of growth, new adventures and as a result some great memories.  In the summer, I seemed to have a number of things finally come to conclusion or fruition that I had been waiting for, for a longtime.  This I have to say brought a sense of great relief in many ways.

However, by the Autumn and with the change of season, suddenly this shifted gear and I found many things either becoming very clear or ending or simply no longer working.  The Autumn, as those who follow the seasonal gestures know, is always about the harvest, and has much to do with the death cycle.  This can seem very depressing to many, even scarey.  Of course it does not always come sugar coated, the one profound thing that is always necessary though, through such a cycle is to remember that it is a clear out and it does mean there will be space for something new, providing as individuals we can come through the change, or clear out safely.  This of course does not mean necessarily unchanged.  2018 Was also a fire year within the 9 Star Ki Astrology, fire years while warming and joyous can also mean a lot of transforming energy or influences.

Personally I am always very grateful for the Winter Solstice and make as much as possible of using the dark nights to stay warm and rest up and even dream a little.

Of course now we find ourselves in the New Year.  Yippee we all cry – Happy New Year!!  …and of course it is the chance of a fresh start, or a renewing of commitments or a shift in gear.  Funny part is, it is still middle of winter and we all creek a bit in the dark and cold.  Again I turn to the seasonal gestures and associated elements….. in every beginning, there is a waiting, a planting, a dreaming, a renewal.  This allows for the stretch, the yawn, the warm up, the meditation, the freshening and preparation for the doing.

P1020061

So along with a Happy New Year …. I wish you a gentle easing into this new year of 2019.  It might also at this point be worth mentioning in the 9 Star Ki astrology in February we will be welcoming in the energy of an 8 Mountain year.  So definitely worth preparing a bit before rushing up that one!

March comes in with an Artic Lion’s Roar!

snowlionPinch punch first of the month!  With this March in the UK coming in with an Artic Lion no less, BRRR!  With this ‘Beast of the East’ it feels appropriate to take another look at the 9 start ki  elemental energies for this year.  Last month we welcomed in the year of the Earth Dog in the Chinese oracle, I also mentioned the Fire year of the 9 Start Ki or Flying Stars.    See table below.  For those of you who are not familiar with this system, every year the elements take a tour around the Bagua, this year they are in this formation.  The Bagua is orientated with the cardinal directions, so water is in the North and Fire in the South.  This means the mountain energy is in the North East and for this year the element of wood is orientated in this area, or Thunder, as shown in the table.  So what do you get when there is Thunder in the Mountains?  Storms, wind and most of all change.  The control element for this March is 4 Wood or also known as Wind and as you can see from the table, again we have a mountain influence in Wood Wind this year.  We certainly are welcoming  this month and the spring in with the cold mountain winds of the North East with spectacular stormy, wintery and windy conditions too.

4 – Wood Wind

Colour Green

8 – MOUNTAIN

 

 

9- Fire

Direction South

4 – WOOD

2 – Earth

6 – METAL 

3 – Thunder – Direction East

7 – MARSH

 

 

 

 

5- Tai Chi

9 – FIRE

7– Marsh

Direction West

2 – EARTH

 

8 – Mountain

3 – THUNDER

 

 

 

 

 

1 – Water

Direction North

5 – TAI CHI

6 – Metal

1 – WATER

 

 

So what is this telling us about the elemental influences of this year and this spring? 

These elements speak of change, the wind has a long association with spirit and listening to spirit, while mountain brings the stillness, the clarity of enlightenment and the challenge.  Mountain and Thunder in the IChing provide the hexigrams of ‘A Little Excess’ and ‘The Jaws’.  The message of these two are about finding the middle road and adopting the classic moto of ‘less is more’; while ‘The Jaws’  are open waiting to be filled which brings the danger of being devoured as well as the need for nourishment. The key here is about good nourishment which also takes effort rather than greedy guzzling or expecting things just to come to one without proper approach.

Question is, as this Fire year is being announced so clearly by this Artic Lion of March, what does it suggest about the quality of the Fire for the year ahead?

This suggests, the need to listen well to spirit, your own and divine. Changes are both needed and are coming, but when making them do not do them to excess, take the ‘middle road’ to ensure steady and sustainable change and when it comes to consuming, ensure it is what is needed, that it is nourishing and not greedily devoured, otherwise you may just find yourself in the jaws of something much larger.  Fire energy is warming, joyous but can also be destructive and erratic.  So just as the Thunder on the Mountain, while there may be times for a lot of noise, joyous or otherwise, watch out if it becomes excessive.  Always return to connect with the cool and enlightened centre of fire, which is in that deep centre of all of us, if we stop, breath and listen, which of course is the lessons of Wind and Mountain, we may avert disaster.

To help ride the waves of the seasons, I am building a seasonal selection of meditation available on line, Equinox to Follow soon, here is link to the Spring Stirrings Meditation. https://www.facebook.com/Pathwayfinder/videos/1146848008784284/

…and for those who wonder if there is such a thing as an Artic Lion there once was link to Artic Lion

Honesty and Grace go hand in hand

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThese are two, Honesty and Grace are very old and timeless friends and ones that we all grapple with at times.  For some they are total strangers, for some they are the best buddies they could ever wish for in their lives and for others a challenge or even sparing partners.  For all of us they can be the oil in the wheels or in their absence a whole in the heart.

In this age of science, and the need for law and order, often it is the truth that is sort and of course you cannot have truth without honesty.  Although, in the search for truth honesty is often over looked in the very pointed charge for truth or proof or the absolute.

While we often seek honesty from those around us and the world around us, it is sometimes even harder to find it within ourselves, often blinded to our own habits or unseeing of our own blind spots.  When t

candle flame

hese are revealed to us sometimes it can be quite painful or make us feel very vulnerable.  However, if we check them carefully and accept them, these can be some of the greatest growth moments in our lives.  There is of course one caveat; what is the truth to one person is only a part truth to another and we have to be honest about where the gap in the different perspective may be.

There is a beautiful old saying “Diplomacy is the better part of Valour”.  Question is when is diplomacy just a sop for hiding the truth or not being honest with someone and when is it really serving a truly altruistic and noble purpose which can be called valour?

Personally this is where I feel grace is a far better guide.  Grace walks with love, with light, with compassion and is a far more humble companion for honesty than any of the ones mentioned so far.  The search for truth can make us have tunnel vision.  Diplomacy can leave us open to basically never really facing things or understanding what is truly going on.  Perhaps even being more blindsided than we might already be.  Undertaking things for noble causes and valour leaves us open to simply being motivated to be proud, great and opens the doors to ego and pomp.

 

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAHonesty is always the best policy, but it can be at times painful and sharp.  It’s delivery, it’s reception needs the companion of Grace for all, to just ease in the light and enable the discoveries, making what is revealed digestible, meaningful, and hold the bright truth that can only sparkle with humbleness rather than becoming a sharp instrument to prove a point and to allow time for all to reshape themselves around this new bright potential of having clarity following the revelation of honesty.

 

Why have these to companions in your life?  They can require considerable work, they cherub2are not necessarily easy friends to have around.  Because, without them, you get lost in a fog, the world you build for yourself and others becomes dis-honest and often brutal causing further injury to oneself and others.  They are truly good friends to invite into your life and heart.

Join the Transformation Movement….

tranformationtvLast year I took the plunge and signed up to the Transformation Summit Programme, it start out about writing a book and developing an online Webinar Programme.  It gave me the forum and format to help focus lots of ideas into one digestible book and programme.  The result is that not only have all this have been delivered and are available see links below but much more.  I now have lots more that I want to develop and now have some great experience on how to do it.  What I was not expecting was that they shifted it from being just an online and book format to also launching a live TV programme as well as developing a community around the product.  So take a look at these links and see what calls to you.

www.transformation.tv/

To Stop Chasing Time, Have Quality Time webinar

Winspiration Day – Global Movement – UK’S First

Final Final JPEG - Winspiration Day 7th May (1)

Link to book tickets: winspirationday2017.eventbrite.co.uk 

All proceeds go to these great charities:

The Warrior Programme  www.warriorprogramme.org.uk
Shooting Star Chase  www.shootingstarchase.org.uk

 

LINK TO FILMS OF DAY:

Manifesting, Procreation, Competition and Co-creation

chinese-coinsRecently I’ve found myself thinking a lot about the dynamic of Co-Creation.  We are, after all at that incredible time of year Imbolc, stirrings and spring, fertility.  Everything is beginning to stir and that energy to move forward and manifest one’s dreams, goals or passions is once again rising.  Ever since shifting out of the corporate career world and finding myself developing a spiritual / healing practice, it has been a constant learning curve of how to develop my own skills, follow a more spiritual way of life, while still meeting the material needs of a physical life.

I have found myself having to look closer and closer at the dynamic of what is often termed a “Spiritual Business”.  The two terms for many, including myself, hold that diametrically opposed charge.  After all being Spiritual broadly means coming from a place of love, giving and altruism; guided by some form higher vibration, consciousness, presence or heart centre;  while business means just making money.  Whatever you do, however, you do it – you make money.  This requires goals, drive, marketing, selling and some kind of persuasion to purchase.   Here comes the rub, if you are operating from a truly altruistic place, guided by spirit alone you cannot be driven by predetermined goals or inappropriately persuading people to purchase something that they either do not need or is inappropriate for them just to meet a sales target.

makingFunnily enough this is only a “rub” if you are operating from a place where there is some level of ok-ness about being unethical because it’s just business.  Which is probably something we have got so used to in our daily lives, we now assume this is part of business. It does not have to be and frankly if you are operating an ethical business, marketing is much more about communicating well what you are offering in terms of your products or services.  You sell to those who actually will benefit from your products or services and seek to source from ethical suppliers.  All business have their plans, goals and targets, however, if a market is under producing you look into why, not force them to simply work harder.  An honest look into it, may reveal important information about where the business actually needs to be going, either new areas to be developed or old ones that have run their course and need to be dropped for a while.  This means that rather than going down the route of hard sell, squeeze out the competitor, you are rather widening the offering to the consumer.

When we are working from a place of spiritual guidance or altruism there is always the intension to provide the best regardless of profit.  Often if you are listening to this, although sometimes what happens moment to moment might seem to make “poor business sense” it is actually providing the “best customer service possible”.  It is coming from a place of really listening to what the “customer is seeking” and being totally honest whether they are going to find it with you or not.  This guidance and decision is made from a place that is free from the constraints of goals and profits and to be truly spiritual must remain so.

The beauty is that when something is done from a place of joy and love and with expert insight, the product or service is then unique, high quality and ever evolving.  This energy charge obeys or rather echos the principles of laws of attraction and positive creativity.  It does though mean working with a certain light of foot and hand, while being always true to high level of intent and integrity not completely tied by formular or routine.  Plus what it actually does; rather than business making things “un-spiritual”, it potentially challenges business to operate more ethically.

So where does competition fit into all of this?  In life we all go through certain training and while we come out with our own take on it, there is still a point where we overlap or work in the same industry or offer similar services or products as another.  So often we are taught to compete, to be better than another or take the competition out.  In other words engage in a very aggressive approach.  This approach has lead to so much damage and under valuing of natural resources and of human lives all in the name of productivity and market share.  What if actually this was not what competition was about?  What if it was actually about a much more subtle form of betterment and creativity?

Geoff Mulgan writes about it in his book “The Locust and the Bee”, where he explores the different dynamics of Capitalism, how it has the potential to create a free creative market rather than an aggressive consuming monster.  This also came out during a one day workshop I recently attended about running a Spiritual Business.  What’s become clear to me is that it is a choice we all have to face within ourselves as creatives, consumers, and business owners or even employees, do we work from a place of co-creation or aggressive competition?

Co-creation takes certain qualities which often makes us feel vulnerable – we have to be, to a certain extent open and honest and from this there is immediately the requirement of a certain level of trust and faith with those that we are working with.  It also often leaves us open to criticism, ridicule, and exposure of the very areas we are “not very good at”.  Thing is it’s also a very brave place to operate from.  The areas “we are not very good at” otherwise lurk in the dark corners, almost haunting us, forcing us to act from a place fear and defense.  Surely that is just as painful as risking a certain level of trust and faith in another.  Another we can choose whether we open up to or not.  Don’t forget those who betray us, it is not about us being naïve, it is rather about their own inability to be trusted that is exposed.

The definition of Co-creation is “a management initiative, or form of economic strategy, that brings different parties together (for instance, a company and a group of customers), in order to jointly produce a mutually valued outcome.[1]

Co-created value arises in the form of personalized, unique experiences for the customer (value-in-use) and ongoing revenue, learning and enhanced market performance drivers for the firm (loyalty, relationships, customer word of mouth). Value is co-created with customers if and when a customer is able to personalize his or her experience using a firm’s product-service proposition – in the lifetime of its use – to a level that is best suited to get his or her job(s) or tasks done and which allows the firm to derive greater value from its product-service investment in the form of new knowledge, higher revenues/profitability and/or superior brand value/loyalty.[2]”  Wikipedia.

co-creatingJust imagine for one moment a world where business operates from a place of integrity, good intention and co-creation?  Wow!  The Ego-Macho pasturing of the likes of the ‘Trumps’ of this world would be given little space, as they rely on setting one off against the other and therefore would find no place at a table where genuine Sustainable Co-creation was manifesting.

 

Call to the Ancestors on Samhuin

fullmoongoddessp1000834Oh Great Spirit

Let me walk where my ancestors walked

So I may understand them better

Let me see their failings

So I can learn from them

Let me see their successes

So I can celebrate them and follow them

Let me see their sorrows

So I can comfort them

Let me see their joys

So I may know their love

Let me know my ancestors

So I may grow wise by them.

Tanya Adams – Pathwayfinder

Whose Dream is it anyway? What is your Dream?

Seeing the new Star Trek film coming out, celebrating 50 years of Star Trek reminded me of oldtechsifithose cyber space and sci-fi films of the 1960s – 1970s, used to watch as a kid.  Have to say I preferred their ingeniousness to some of the smash and battle of many of the other films that have emerged since.  They were all totally obsessed with gismos and technology and this was all just as our current digital age was frankly being born.  Growing up through the 1970’s and 80’s really we saw the birth of the digital age, where we moved from an age of mechanics and electronics into digital technology.  Computers became common place and now we don’t just grab our keys and wallet before leaving the house, it is also the mobile phone.  It too is now a key part of our functioning in the outside world, or feeling safe.

Looking back at these old films where technology and gismos were the dream of tomorrow,  it’s clear that in many ways we are now living that tomorrow, to a lesser or greater extent.  The interesting part is that in many ways this wasn’t the desire or the dream of many, yet it has now shaped many of our lives and how we live in our society on a daily basis.  Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing can be frankly debated for a very long time and that’s not really what this short article is about.  Like most things in life and certainly true of any tool or power, it just is, it’s what one does with it that matters.

oldtechOne thing it does demonstrate beautifully, is that everything we have starts with an idea, an intent, a point of inception.  Somethings then work and somethings don’t; as the techno graveyard of failed gismos are testament to.  Asking these questions opens up another angle, which is how much do we actually end up living a life that is actually founded on or shaped by someone else’s dream?  There are many people out there that don’t like or are fearful of technology, or have sensitivity to the electromagnetic smog.  We still don’t really know what the effect of all of this “stuff” actually has on us or the planet, yet we continue to jump to the shout of “PROGRESS” as we seem to progress further and further away from a people served society to self-serving techno machine society.  Is this really where we want to progress to?  Is this what you want?  Who dreamed up this type of society anyway?  It’s certainly convenient that many tasks and jobs are done by machines, as we constantly get told humans are open to making mistakes.  Well computers and technology are open to malfunctions, anomalies, hacking, etc, too.  Yet in modern society we are seemingly dragged further and further down the path of barcoding, swipe, pat, touch screen, auto phone through and on-line registration for issue resolution.  It’s like a techno bubble is being built between the customer or service user and the business or service provider.  Whether this is your dream of an ideal society or not – you’re in it (if you live in the industrialised part of the world).

Our lives are dreamed into being, right from when we are small, we have our dreams, or our parents hadreamscapeve dreams for us, or our communities have dreams about who we are or the roles we should take up.  In all of this as an individual it’s quite a job to work out for oneself what it is that you’re actually here to do and then how to go about it.  At this point, this is where your own dream comes into play.
Question is how much though is that dream already shaped by your own experiences and aspirations that have been fed to you since you were tiny?  Answer;  Probably quite a bit.  Is there any surprise then when people get disillusioned or frustrated or dulled by what they actually find themselves doing?  Perhaps part of this is not because of the individuals failings or the faults of society or that they weren’t given a break;  perhaps it’s simply because they are not really living their own dream but one that’s been carefully crafted and shaped for them that they can conveniently fit into.  Or not, as some find.

This is where meditation and plant consciousness and dream work is so beautiful, because it can enable an individual to peel back these layers and rediscover their own authentic self so that they can find where they fit, what their true passion is, what is their divine link and place in this lifetime.  To quote Mandy Hale;

“Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong”.

Alongside continuing with journeying, meditation, and Reiki including Reiki drumming; this year I was introduced to Mugwort which is an ancient medicinal plant known for it’s cleansing, midwifery, protective and dream qualities.  It is a beautiful wild plant which is grounding, protective, clearing, re-aligning, aiding digestion, great for all sorts of “female” issue problems including PMS (NOT to be used during pregnancymugwort;  known use for birth inducing), as well helping sleep and dream states.  It also has a great quality, when invited, to help one see through falseness and illusion to reinstate honest and loving relationships with oneself and others.

So as we progress forwards with this digital age, perhaps it is worth stopping and turning
to the oldest and wisest of our teachers here on Earth – Nature herself, to seek out as an individual what our genuine dream and loving truth is.  Often we have to go deeper to find our own truth, and that requires us going deeper than what is on offer on the surface or what we have been told.  After all it would be a shame to be dragged into living a dream that wasn’t your own and was thereby just someone else’s illusion.

What the Fractal is that about?

Summer 2016! What the ‘Fractal’ is that about?

Ok so last Newsletter (May), I wrote about the incredible healing link between plants, land and music, following my own adventures into these subjects and wonderful travels in the Emerald Isle in May.

The plant theme continued for me through June with Mugwort and some beautiful Dreamwork and I had said I’d share some of this in the subsequent Newsletter.  However, sadly this process for me, got somewhat brutally interrupted by external events in the UK, hence I’ve decided to postpone writing about the wonders of Mugwort and the Dream work just for now.  As always there are always other themes that come to the fore and for me this has been one of Water and Fractals.  The link between this, mid-summer  and wellbeing might seem slightly strange but there is one, promise!

Firstly on Midsummer Day I had the great joy of undertaking a Solstice “Medicine Walk” with a dear friend in some local and ancient woods.  As some of you might remember it was a particularly wet Summer Solstice.

However, this did not stop us and the rain in the woods actually felt fresh, clean, nor were the woods water logged.  Far from it, their greens were vibrant and almost palpable in their celebration of the water as much as the Solar apex.  This felt totally in tune with the rather unusual Summer Solstice which combined the full solar apex with the full moon(this combination only occurs once in around 70 years or so).

The warmth and rains felt like a totally balanced mirror of this day celebrating in many ways the fullness of solar / male and the lunar / feminine aspects.  So at the height of this fast flowing, busy Monkey Year; the heat of the Summer Solstice was softened and balanced with the full moon and refreshing summer rain on that day.

Since Summer Solstice there has been a lot written about how this is another very transformative period and actually, unlike the last few years which seemed to be much more about internal changes, this one seems to be perhaps far more tangible changes ones which show up far more in the physical and in the open.

These times can be very healing, cathartic but also a little scary.  It’s easy to say don’t be fearful, but when things get rocked to the core on a personal level, this statement can sound quite frankly, crass.

Recently I was reminded, during a healing session oddly enough of Fractals.  For me these were simply beautiful patterns that appear in nature and then computer generated art  – they made great posters during my student days and the early days of the ‘Techno Dance’ movement.  (I’m sure some of you will remember these of the early 1990’s!) Beyond this personally, I hadn’t given them much if any thought since those heady days.

Given the recent themes of water patterning, song-lines, plant consciousness, my interest was spiked so I decided to have another little look at what actually are Fractals?

Well I have to confess clearly as I’m not a mathematic genius my explanation is likely to be rather ley,  however,  I turned up a few interesting facts about these curious wonders…….

A Fractal is:
“……a curve or geometrical figure, each part of which has the same statistical character as the whole. They are useful in modelling structures (such as snowflakes) in which similar patterns recur at progressively smaller scales, and in describing partly random or chaotic phenomena such as crystal growth and galaxy formation.”

A fractal is:
”….a never-ending pattern. Fractals are infinitely complex patterns that are self-similar across different scales. They are created by repeating a simple process over and over in an ongoing feedback loop. Driven by recursion, fractals are images of dynamic systems – the pictures of Chaos. Geometrically, they exist in between our familiar dimensions. Fractal patterns are extremely familiar, since nature is full of fractals. For instance: trees, rivers, coastlines, mountains, clouds, seashells, hurricanes, etc. Abstract fractals – such as the Mandelbrot Set – can be generated by a computer calculating a simple equation over and over. “  fractalfoundation.org/resources/what-are-fractals/It is in many ways the mathematic mapping of shapes and natural or repetitive structures.  These repetitive structures are in many ways what gives stability and form to many physical and wave forms. www.fractal.org/Bewustzijns-Besturings-Model/Fractals-Useful-Beauty.htm

So what are they used for? 

Well since their discovery in 1975, it’s given birth to a whole new understanding of form, chaos, markets, science, design and even music.

Mandelbrot famously wrote: “Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles, and bark is not smooth, nor does lightning travel in a straight line.”www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-11564766

So my question and reason for writing about it is – In this time of apparent ‘chaos’ or ‘transformation’, how can fractals help one now?     

Well they are being used in modern medicine and for the more etheric and easy access medicine of Fractals, here is a lovely summary and insight into their healing uses……… ………….www.fraktalneenergije.com/en/energy.html.

It is purely through their shape, vibration, colours and energy that they can have profound effect on a space, a person’s well-being and energy levels.  It is almost as thought, while describing the ‘chaos’ or ‘randomness’, they bring a rhythm and a sense of calm or order to it.  So no wonder, they made their presence known during a recent healing session.

Mindfulness – what is all this fuss about?

It’s been really interesting watching the explosion of Mindfulness over the last few years, I don’t know about Mindfulness it’s been almost mind dazzling!   it’s gone from the book on the self-help bookshelf and week-end workshop, to the workplace, the school, even into mainstream health care including the NHS and Parliament.

So what is it?  It is, according to a recent report by the BBC, defined as the following  –

The word “mindfulness” seems to be everywhere. Parliament has even started using it. But what is it?

To many people, mindfulness just means “the state or quality of being mindful”. That’s the first definition the Oxford English Dictionary lists.

But the second meaning of the word, taken from Buddhist philosophies, is proliferating rapidly. Search Amazon’s book section and you’ll see many titles about mindfulness and how to get it. A quick search of a database of British newspapers shows that in April 2004 it was mentioned just twice. In April this year, the figure was 150.

This other definition of mindfulness is “with reference to yoga philosophy and Buddhism: the meditative state of being both fully aware of the moment and of being self-conscious of and attentive to this awareness; a state of intense concentration on one’s own thought processes; self-awareness”.

A part of BBC News Magazine, Who, What, Why? aims to answer questions behind the headlines But the dictionary also notes that the term is “in weakened use”. It’s been diluted from its origins to now encompass all manner of meditation techniques, treatments for daily stress, even ways to lose weight. The word is everywhere. An all-party parliamentary group on mindfulness will be launched on 7 May, city workers are said to be adopting it and even theNHS offers information about how to practise it.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-27299696

candle flameI first came across Mindfulness in my teenage years through some simple Yoga introductory practice, but honestly didn’t know it as such back then.  I then came across it through some basic “Learn how to meditate” classes in the 1990’s when I was living in Cambridge and then explored it more deeply as part of my Shamanic Training, which to be fair was based a lot on the Toaist philosophies and traditions.  I have to say at this point just to be clear, I have always remained rather on the Spiritual as opposed to the Religious path.  For further clarity it is important to also note that Mindfulness as it is generally written about and taught in the west for use in the workplace, schools and health system is totally stripped of any religious biased and is totally about simply centring the mind and body to relieve stress and to become present in the moment.

More recently I’ve found myself giving short talks and exercises as part of evening workshops or groups.  For me it is the heart and the tip of the iceberg of meditation.  It is the place of being and learning to be present.  It is the place to let go, to stop, to ground, to be and to centre.  In our seemingly frenetic modern lifestyles it is becoming more and more essential to embrace this practice.

I was shown to me by life and frankly quite brutally, that when we are not centred, when we don’t stop, when we aren’t present or cannot just be, we cannot then do, discern, choose, stand firm or act.  It is one of these amazing dynamics of life that if we are not still at times then our movement becomes unbalanced.  It is in many ways our night to our day, our inner to our outer.

For some reason this stillness and this being and this inner work has been something that has if not actively then certainly steadily been discouraged from our western societies for a long-time.  Too much focus placed on the outer world and its appearances, our outward achievements and standing.  This imbalance in many ways has caused a lot of stress, destruction and misuse of resources and in some cases caused illness. So perhaps it’s not so surprising that now the balance has to be restored and this simple, not to be confused with easy, practice of Mindfulness is becoming so popular.

As with everything that becomes popular or a household term there are always those for whom it does not work or has caused difficulties, this is natural as we are all unique.  There have been accounts about how Mindfulness where it has been apparently detrimental or has actually caused people to become unstable in someway.  There have been reports were people have found they have begun to feel too zoned out, suffered panic attacks, depression or traumatic memories from their childhood return following a Mindfulness course or session.

Speaking from personal experience, it is true that these practices open us up to ourselves and sometimes the effects can be traumatic and life changing.  It is essential that if this happens, the process is held and what is coming up is embraced and understood rather than run from or shut down.  It is importantly to understand that it is not necessarily the meditation itself that is at fault but it is actually simply allowing space for what was already stored within us to surface.  If it hadn’t come out in this way, then it would surely come out in some other way in that person’s life.  In many ways by having these issues, whatever they are come to the surface in this way it is an opportunity for the person to fully face them and move beyond them.

None of us ever choose to be ill, or at least we don’t choose it consciously.  So when either illness comes or uncomfortable emotions are stirred we are unlikely to welcome them and we are even less likely to want to make time for them; or have to change our way of life for them.  However, if you ever find yourself as the “unfortunate few” where this does occur for you, here are some basic pointers you may find helpful;

  • Firstly ground – feel your body, feel your breath, be very present about where you are. Perhaps eat something nutritious, go for a walk in nature, even if this is just a pocket park or tree lined boulevard for the city dwellers among us.
  • If you are likely to feel spaced out when meditating, only do it for a short while a day. 10 mins a day rather than leaping into an intensive workshop or week-ender.  In many ways this is about you growing your internal muscles, just like going down to the gym, you don’t do a 10 miler on the first day!
  • Keep well hydrated. De-hydration can make us feel spaced out and when we are stressed we don’t always realise how de-hydrated we are.
  • Simplify your life. Start to live and think more simply.
  • If you wish to keep up a meditation practice, up your vitamin, mineral and nutrition intake, if you are taking in rubbish, when you stop and listen to yourself inside you are likely to find rubbish!
  • What-ever has surfaced needs facing and transmuting. Depending on what’s coming up for you, it might be time to get some counselling, and learn some techniques on how to face and transmute and let go of those bad feelings or memories.
  • You might find a physical meditation practice is better for you – tai chi, qigong, yoga or even simple activities like gardening, walking or cycling. Or a creative one; drawing, writing, or cooking.   Or if it’s anger or confidence issues try a martial art class, to focus and transmute the energy into a punch bag rather than into a person or your life!  You can be Mindful in how you do all or any of these activities.

Mindfulness is all about being present, centred and in the body.  If any of us is struggling with that, it is because there is something getting in the way, that something needs to be understood and then it can be let go of or addressed.  We can shift from habitual reacting to pro-active living. IMG_1834

“Breathing in I establish myself in the present moment.  Breathing out I know that this is a wonderful moment”.  Thich Nhat Hanh.

Thich Nhat Hanh, writes beautifully about the power of the present moment, for this is all we truly have at any one time, in his book “The Power of Now”.

Above all, be gentle and kind with yourself, but don’t run and hide.  Be honest and be courageous, this is about you getting to know you, to centre in being you and can help you let go of the internal “rubbish”, so you can be a clearer and brighter you!

 

Our Useful friends who deserve our Respect and Care.

 

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Trees lining a river

Recently I have sadly been the witness to a good many trees being felled.  These trees were not diseased or getting in the way of development or undermining existing housing.  They were trees which had stood for a good many years, approximately 60-80 years in some cases, in the same place with the same housing and gardens around them.  They provided many things, interest to an otherwise boring boundary, shade in the summer, screening, scenic and seasonal variety (as a number of them were indigenous deciduous species).  However, they were all in that bracket of “oh it’s just a tree”.   It’s just an ash, it’s just a poplar, it’s just a beech, it’s just a pine, it’s just a willow.  Or in the  bracket of “Ooooh you don’t want to encourage them, they are likely to take over.”  Frankly as we are talking about mature trees they had already “taken over”, they had done their territorial conquering and been enjoyed by many for a good many season.

Some of them provided boundary screening, some of them provided shoring up of banks, some of them provided water absorbency.  All of them provided oxygen, all of them provided homes to birds, insects, mosses and other ecologies, all of them helped ground stability and water management.

A couple of years ago there was a huge protest to a local development which involved a number of mature and valued trees being felled and disruption to what had been long standing park and pond areas.  Just recently with the heavy rainfall gardens which have never been known to flood are now flooding.  All because these ancient and valued species didn’t fit with the bottom of the developer’s balance sheet.

http://www.barnet-today.co.uk/article.cfm?id=108580&headline=Residents%20say%20%27I%20told%20you%20so%27%20over%20Cat%20Hill%20flooding&sectionIs=news&searchyear=2016

The loss of these seemingly “ordinary” species becomes even more sad when one delves deeper into what trees are about and realise what mighty living beings they truly are, what they do for us, the ecology and how much we need them to keep our environment in balance.  Yet there still seems to be a casualty to removing them, cutting them down.  To me trees are like friends.  I truely  understand that sometimes they need and even thrive by being coppiced or having professional surgery carried out.  Sometimes they are simply too old, too big, too dangerous, too diseased to stay.  After all we all come to the end of our lives, we all have our season.

What I don’t get is that too often there is an automatic default to, cut it out, get rid of it, it’s in the way.

They take time to grow, and fast growing replacements, often don’t have the same ecological or esthetical value, so you can’t replace as fast as it’s been removed.

Then there is a deeper level of the value of the tree, the medicinal one, even spiritual one.  Every tree has it’s own medicine, be it from bark, leaf, nut or blossom – they all carry their own medicine, in the form of tincture, oil, pulse or even active ingredients for a modern drug medication.

They are known to have a profound effect on our psyches, enabling better relaxation, destressing, grounding and even ideal space for meditation.  They have been the muses for poets, writers and artists.  For those who are sensitive enough to access the plant consciousness world they are truly living beings with their own spirits and guardians.  In many indigenous traditions they are our elders and teachers.  In Native American traditions they were the Standing People, with their roots deep in the ground, trunk bodies and limbs high into the skies, they form the connection between earth and sky and are in many ways our living breathing oxygen tent.

Eigg Trees

Community of trees,  Isle of Eigg

In our world of wastage, toxins and diseases, they are the true teachers in 0 waste product cycle.  They form their own seeds, support eco systems while alive, and return to the ground as mulch or fire wood at the end.  There service from sapling to mulch is faultless.

With this millennia of service, surely they can expect and should receive significantly more respect and care from us humans, than they generally appear to get in our day to day life.

The Wind in the Trees on the Isle of Eigg

In August I had the great joy of enjoying a few days on the Isle of Eigg in Hebrides and took of the 3 healers, silence, solitude and stillness.  Saying in a simply Boffy which was half in the woods, the native hazel woods, one day this just flowed out.  So here it is in time for a poetic offering for Autumn Equinox.

Community of trees

Hazel the wise,

Ash of the Grove,

We move with the wind,

We move and grow with spirit,

Spirit is in the wind.

It shapes and forms us and how we grow,

We bend and bow, gnarl and know,

We breathe and sigh,

This is not our lot,

From seed to fruit to log,

We serve, we are we give and we grow.

Oh tussled network below,

Tangled branches do play,

We stand tall, short, bent or gnarled,

However, best it is for us to grow.

Beneath our branches much does grow,

Between our toes much does flow,

We are between earth and air,

And are the cycle for these two.

Water feed us and makes us grow,

More for light and air we transmute

For all to breathe and grow with joy.

Water is the earth’s blood

And we are her lungs

The atmosphere her aura

Stones are her bones

Magnetism is her nervous system,

as she lives and breathes.

Every creature, every species

Dances and plays bring joy, movement,

Nourishment, illumination to her mighty body

‘Tis after all heaven on Earth!

Eigg sunset